Free Trade Agreement Visa Options

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The United States has free trade agreements with a number of countries around the world. Many of these agreements create programs to create additional immigration options for foreign nationals from those countries. For instance, foreign nationals from the following countries are provided visa options under a U.S. free trade agreement with that country:

  • Canada and Mexico. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the TN work visa is available for Canadian and Mexican citizens who will enter the U.S. to work in certain professional jobs. Generally the job must require at least a baccalaureate degree or appropriate credentials, such as a professional license. The TN work visa also allows the sponsorship of a Canadian citizen or a Mexican citizen who does not have a professional degree or license, provided that the Canadian or Mexican citizen is sponsored as a scientific technician/technologist who is working in direct support of professionals. Unlike the H-1B work visa, TN visas are not subject to a cap. Employers can sponsor workers of Canada and Mexico to enter the U.S. for certain professional level jobs even after the H cap has been reached.
  • Australia. Under a 2005 treaty, Australian citizens are eligible for an E-3 work visas that allow entry into the U.S. in order to work in certain professional positions. Each year 10,500 E-3 Australian visas are available. Australian citizens granted E-3 work visas are initially allowed to stay in the U.S. for up to two years. This period of work authorization may be renewed in two-year increments, and E-3 visas are “indefinitely renewable.”
  • Chile. Under a 2003 free trade agreement with Chile, citizens of Chile are granted certain work visa rights. For instance, the H-1B1 visa category allows citizens of Chile to be legally employed in the United States as H-1B1 non-immigrants if they meet the qualifications to be employed in a professional position. Like all countries, H-1B visa applicants from Chile are subject to the annual cap.
  • Singapore. Under a 2003 free trade agreement with Singapore, citizens of Singapore are granted certain work visa rights. For instance, the H-1B1 visa category allows citizens of Singapore to be legally employed in the United States as H-1B1 non-immigrants if they meet the qualifications to be employed in a professional position. Like all countries, H-1B visa applicants from Singapore are subject to the annual cap.

Topics:  Australia, Canada, Chile, Foreign Nationals, Free Trade Agreement, Immigrants, Mexico, NAFTA, Singapore, Visas

Published In: General Business Updates, International Trade Updates, Labor & Employment Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Ronald Shapiro | Attorney Advertising

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